Redesigning core phone apps is, well, difficult. Many companies flood the space to reinvent a feature native to a smartphone — promising a “better” interface and more efficient features, and a a lot of them have more or less the same handful of bright ideas. The result is many apps with the same aims trying to replace that one flawed app.
Readdle has been offering alternatives to iPhone’s calendar app for about a year now, but has made its name with its productivity suite — which includes Scanner Pro, Documents by Readdle, and PDF expert. Its latest iteration of scheduling software, named Calendars 5, takes the place of the company’s previous premium app, Calendars+ (Calendars by Readdle, the free version distributed earlier this year, remains available for download). While it enters a market clogged with the great design efforts of FantastiCal and Sunrise, among many others, Calendars 5 has enough new material to be a worthwhile purchase.
The most standout feature really isn’t a feature at all — it’s just iPad support. But Calendars 5 is unique in making room for the tablet, which is surprisingly lacking in modernism calendar apps. The iPad view of the app is a larger version of the mobile, which is a good thing as it highlights Readdle’s skeuomorphism-free, minimalistic interface. Calendars can be synced natively with the phone or with a Google calendar, and updated quickly to maintain consistent schedules. Both interfaces allow for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly views, as well as a view for tasks. It certainly is miles better than Apple’s current calendar offering, and won’t look out of place once iOS 7 rolls out.
Creating a calendar event is simple, allowing users to input their events in plain language or tweak manually with recurring events, invitees, notes and locations. In the company’s blog, the developers at Readdle claim that the app is focused on the “power user,” which rings true when the app maneuvers lengthy and complicated recurring events (“Poker Night with Joe every third Tuesday for the next six months”) without a lot of text miscommunication. It’s simple, broad and functional, which may be the right mix to stand out amid tough calendar-APP competition.
While it is currently available on iTunes for the introductory price of $4.99, that cost will shoot up to $6.99 — at the top of the high-end calendar range — after this week.